KZN KERF vs KZN Jozi Fests 2022

A unique season for KZN schoolboy rugby in the sense that the competition for youth week places appears to be an open race with so many possible permutations still in play. The depth amongst the backs is incredible. Maybe a few questions still to be answered about the quality of the tight-five, but hopefully the candidates can make the step up in the school matches and trial matches to come and prove they are the right ones for the job.

Once again no consideration for age-groups in the attempt to pick the players who stood out:

18 Comments

  1. @Mate: Mr T! I’m almost disappointed that I’ll be at the Boys High v KES game and not at Markotter to buy some worse from your legendary motorhome!

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  2. @Mate: Meeste van ons krankes is terug vir die Maroen Masjien. Nog so een of twee, behoort reg te wees vir volgende wedstryd. Die vlae gaan wapper, die boytjies gaan sing, Markotter is die plek om te wees.

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  3. @Henkies: in my playing days the hooker ran the lineout calls ,the go to ball in wet conditions was a fast 2 ball….rule nr 1 secure your lineout ball first ,seems to no longer valid …

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  4. Yes Beet I remember the 2018 Craven week well. Glenwood especially and DHS had pretty potent sides that year and contributed players and then you had talented guys like Sangweni from Kearsney in the mix as well. A loosie combo of Gumede, Sangweni and Luzolo was pretty devastating in that semi final against the Cheetahs and I was also always very impressed with Ncube at lock. Unfortunately the Sharks just couldn’t reproduce that same form against WP in the final. I am sure the WP forwards also made life difficult for the Sharks in that game. Maybe that game against the Cheetahs was the Sharks final but – a bit like England who beat Aus in the quarters, the All Blacks in the semi final but then against the Boks couldn’t muster up the same levels of performance in the final. As you say, the forward play will be crucial in another Craven Week in the Cape winter.

    I’m always surprised at the amount of balls thrown to the back of the line out close to the try line. It often results in a lost ball or a knock on whereas a ball to number 2 or 4 would be safer. Of course it’s easier to drive off the back of the ball but it’s a risky move, especially in conditions like we saw at Kearsney. There were a lot of skew throws – could be down to the weather and settling in to the early games perhaps.

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  5. Another thing that I had noticed in 2022 is in spite of going down to 14 players in the first half, two 1st XVs have managed to lift their game and outscore their opponents in the process – DHS and Oakdale

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  6. @Henkies: Hi Henkies. One of things I was thinking about was the impression professional rugby makes on the kids. I know that almost all my favourite Natal/Sharks players are from the time when I was a youngster who thought they were larger than life. Without seeing any stats, I imagine that provincial rugby is nowhere now nearly as popular as it was 10-20-30 years back but it still has the ability to influence a large sector incl. youngsters and school coaches alike. The school game now seems like its upped a level in physicality and backs seem more determined to tackle than ever before. Perhaps the influence of the URC starting to take effect?

    I agree it was a great festival. I think some of the fundamentals could have been better like kicking for touch esp penalties and lineout work to the back but given the circumstances, the entertainment value was excellent. Considering that CW may be played in the same underfoot conditions, some of the matches this weekend and over the last few weeks should stand KZN in good stead from an experience point of view. I hope I’m being a bit harsh on the KZN forwards and that they are able to deliver to their top potential at Craven Week. I do recall a good KZN team making it to the final a few years ago and then getting bullied a bit in the wet by the home team WP pack who looked very comfortable in the challenging conditions. As things stand WP look like they will once again be the union to beat.

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  7. I would agree with your selections Beet. It’s had to nail down starting backs with so many options. I am sure things will become clearer when we see more games in normal weather. At the Kearsney Festival, I thought that overall the KZN forwards stood up well to the packs from the Northern schools. There didn’t seem to be the same significant size difference that we have seen over the years between KZN schools and Northern schools which we have become accustomed to. The gym and nutrition programs from earlier ages may be closing that gap to some degree. The wet weather is always a bit of a leveller but then teams like Monnas also rely on a quick run game so they were less able to show that strength of their game on Days 2 and 3. Considering the weather, it was a great festival. The skills shown in catching and passing a wet and muddy ball were impressive.

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